Usually this column is about women pampering themselves. But, occasionally, even the most pampered of princesses should probably acknowledge that special someone in our life and even go out of our way to give that someone a little pampering. What’s that phrase? Pay it forward?
This is why I head to Good for Her, for a seminar called, How to Drive Your Man Wild with Pleasure. Good for Her, located on Harbord Street, is described on its website as “Toronto’s cozy, comfortable place where women and their admirers can find a variety of high quality sex toys, books, DVDs, workshops, sensual art, and much more,” which is definitely a better way to describe it than as a “sex shop.” I’ve walked by Good for Her hundreds of times, but have never been inside. I’m surprised when, as soon as I enter, I’m offered a cup of tea, as if I’m — la-di-da — visiting a great aunt.
Carlyle Jansen founded Good for Her 12 years ago and explains she purposely designed the store to feel like a home.
There are chairs in the book section at the front of the store, cozy curtains and even a chair for breast-feeding mothers. In fact, it feels like an indie bookstore or cute gift shop.
“We recognize that people are nervous when they come in, and giving them a cup of tea gives them something to clutch onto,” she says.
The seminar I’m about to attend — led by Rebecca Rosenblat-Billings, a TV and radio host who specializes in relationships and sexuality — usually sells out, as it has tonight.
“Women want to please their partners,” she says. “They want to be better and there’s always more to learn.” She leads me around the quaint store and shows me products. Is that really a vibrator masked as a rubber ducky? When did sex toys get such cute names, like Liv and Mia? Oh, that’s the one featured on Sex and the City!
The seminar takes place on the upper level of the store. Jansen says all types of women sign up. (As the 16 seats fill up, I see this is true. There are women ranging from their 20s to their 50s.
“Some are recently divorced,” she tells me. “Some are in dead sexual relationships. Some have had their children just move out, and now they’re looking at each other and thinking, ‘Now what?’ They realize sex is important.”
The truth is, I don’t have to be here. Good for Her also hosts house parties all over the city including in Rosedale, Forest Hill and many in the 905 area code.
“We do a lot of bridal showers, birthday parties, divorce parties and even book clubs,” she says. Jansen says that house parties are a bonding experience for friends. “Many have dinner first and have wine, which is always a good social lubricant to loosen things up. There’s always a lot of laughing.”
Most women at the house parties, she says, have the children all day and are exhausted by night. So when their partners come looking for a little action, they’re like, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Women, at house parties, she says, get “really excited” to try out sex toys, including harnesses, something they’d never even look at outside the privacy of their own homes. And there is a lot of, “I’m not the only one!” going on when it comes to talk of, shall we say, the big O or lack thereof.
A home party is a bargain. Good for Her charges $10 a person, with a minimum of 12 people. “And we don’t push products.”
I learn a lot during the seminar, some of which I’d love to pass on but can’t think of how to describe it without giving this magazine an R rating. However, I did learn that, while it’s OK to listen to music when you’re fooling around, as you get to the actual sex part, the music should be turned off.
“Kill the music,” explains Rosenblat-Billings, who reeks of sexuality, in her skin-tight black pants and red heels. “Your man will start singing the lyrics in his head and not pay attention to what’s happening.”
I learn that men love dirty talk and that any “food-related” words, like “suck” “lick” “slurp,” said in a husky voice, should do the trick. (Men also like to hear, “Just like that!” “Just like that!”)
She explains that men are very visual and goal-oriented (ha!), so doing a striptease dance, while wearing lots of layers, is a surefire way of turning them on. “Don’t let him touch you at first. He has to be trained, like a dog,” she says.
“The longer you prolong the experience, bringing him close to the edge but not quite letting him spill over, the stronger his orgasm will be.”
Rosenblat-Billings gets into details that I would never have thought of, such as how important it is to size shoes properly. “Toe to heel divided by two will give you a heel height that won’t cause injury,” she says. And, I learn that men’s ears are androgenic sites.
And what is Jansen’s best advice for pleasing partners in bed? “Enthusiasm!” she answers.
All the seminars can be taught at home parties. But I have to ask why there isn’t a course called, How to Drive Your Woman Wild with Pleasure. Jansen admits there is the occasional seminar but that it’s harder to get men to come out.
“It’s like how they don’t like asking for directions.”